Security is tight on the streets of Kabul ahead of a ceremony to mark the end of NATO combat missions in Afghanistan. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Security in the Afghan capital Kabul was tight on Sunday (December 28) ahead of a ceremony set to mark the end of NATO combat missions in the country. The ceremony will formally draw to a close 13 years of combat operations in the conflict in the country, which have left the country in the grip of worsening insurgent violence. Police armed with automatic weapons were seen searching vehicles and individuals on the streets, a day after Afghanistan's NATO-led foreign force mistakenly killed three civilians in an air strike, Afghan officials said on Saturday (December 27). The mistaken killing of civilians in air strikes has been a source of anger throughout the force's mission, frequently straining ties between the NATO force and the government. The latest incident took place in Logar province just south of the capital, Kabul, on Friday (December 26), and it involved nomads who had clashed in a dispute over land, provincial officials said. Authorities in the area were negotiating a ceasefire but NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) apparently mistook the nomads for insurgents preparing an attack, officials said. The United States, which provides the bulk of NATO troops in Afghanistan, has poured some $61 billion into training a nascent 350,000-strong security force, seeing it as the lynchpin of a plan to exit its longest war. U.S. and Afghan commanders have praised the bravery and effectiveness of local soldiers, police and others in the face of a Taliban onslaught that has killed more than 4,600 Afghan security force members already this year. The Taliban were ousted by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001, following the Sept. 11 attacks on America by Islamist militants using hijacked airliners, and the United States has kept a military presence there ever since. With the end of the NATO-led combat mission in Afghanistan, the Obama administration said earlier this month it would leave a residual U.S. force of about 10,800 troops behind for at least the first few months of 2015 to help provide support to Afghan security forces.